Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle

Ian Maclaren is attributed, along with, PhiloPlato and Socrates, with saying “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” I chopped it down to hugs not horns when I train new cadets at Gerris Corp.

This is the core of what we at Gerris do to get through thousands of micro-influencers every day, day after day. And when we have horns and have run out of hugs, and the we don’t feel kindness in our heart, we need to channel it. We need to sit on a meditation cushion, get in your best Lotus Position, and repeat after me: be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle, be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle, be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Fake it till you make it.

What does the quote even mean? well, according to Charles Lindsey“it means to be aware that other people struggle, not always visibly, just as you do, and to extend them some sympathy because of it. I prefer the variant that says everyone is fighting “a great battle,” because hard battle is redundant and “great battle” means sweeping, significant, meaningful–a better contrast to the fact that it’s invisible to you.”

Kindness is not an absolute. Kindness only exists in the eyes and the mind of the recipient of the kindness.

Some people shorthand this into the Golden Rule but I don’t agree. Never treat anyone the way you want to be treated, treat everyone the way they want to be treated. Folks are generally really terrible to themselves and the people around them. It may very well be a protective wall, but very few Americans, in particular, are very kind to themselves and tend to lash out the people around them, around you.


So many crappy parent who are convinced they were amazing parents and “did the best they could” which is obviously patently untrue.

And, remember, that every one of us are so consumed and distracted by our own dramas, our own neuroses, and our very own existential crises (have you read the news, your Facebook wall? If it’s not Trump it’s the maltreatment of pets) that we have a terrible time actually loving or even liking each other or ourselves to say nothing of taking the time and effort to discover and consider what other people want, need, or even how they want to be treated.

You need to give the gift that others want and not the gift you want to give. That’s why wedding registries are so brilliant and why the people who buy things not on the list are basically always going to be terrible at influencer marketing.

Yeah, it’s true: you don’t get to be the judge of whether you’re being kind, generous, or a decent person. Kindness is more Yelp than marketing materials.

It’s not about proclaiming your kindness, it’s about getting other people to buy what you’re selling.

Let me give you a hint, benefiting you from my eleven years of doing influencer marketing, fourteen years of online marketing and digital PR, and some shameless stealing from Frank Luntz, “it’s not what you say, it’s what people hear.”

So, maybe you’re not nearly as kind or gentle or generous or loving as you think you are. Other people are the arbiters of your reputation. While a lot of self-help lit and positivity posters suggest that other people don’t have the power to judge you because they don’t know your heart, when it comes to earned media micro-influencer marketing, you’re really at the mercy of everyone else, so no matter how much time you spend before your looking glass saying these earnest words, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me,” remember that when you’re the face of a brand, a product, a company, or a service, you’re only as good enough, smart enough, and liked enough if the object of your pitches agree.

Of course, you can always throw money around. People suffer assholes if there’s enough money involved — at least for a little while.

With over 30 years experience, Gerris was built on creating relationships with clients. Our management team specializes in all areas of online and social media marketinginfluencer outreachcontent strategyreputation monitoring and management and digital strategy. We develop campaigns that work.